Brownbook's latest issue meets a new generation reviving the Algerian capital’s cosmopolitan spirit
Some cities move into the 21st century as museum pieces or tourist traps. Algiers is neither. Long overshadowed by its North African neighbours, the largest country in Africa has been under the radar for decades, leaving its capital, Algiers, largely untapped and tourist-tat free. Behind the scenes, though, a creative community has been flourishing and an upbeat new generation of designers, artists and entrepreneurs are dusting off and getting ready to spread the word.
Creative concepts popping up all over the city are attracting attention, from appealing product design stores to contemporary kitchens and innovative start-up spaces. In a country dominated by its mega corporations, many of these ventures appear to seek the opposite – working creatively in a smaller, more intimate way and reaching out on a human scale amidst Algiers’ urban sprawl.
As the world’s greatest cities adapt and change with their residents, Algiers too, albeit slowly, is fixing up. ‘The mayor is working really hard to make Algiers a great place to live,’ says Yasmine Bouchène, editor of the city’s local ‘what’s on’ guide, Vinyculture. Indeed, large-scale projects are afoot to redevelop the coastal strip that extends east of the port. Over 140 building permits have been granted since 2005 to those wishing to invest in the tourism infrastructure.
200 + inserts pgs, 26 × 21 cm, Softcover, 2014,